Madera Gang Member Heading to Prison for Murder Print
News - Local
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 06:45

MADERA COUNTY - Madera County District Attorney Michael R. Keitz announced that Juan Carlos Amezcua, age 21, of Madera, was convicted of second degree murder in the death of Victor Raqueno, age 28, also of Madera. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge for a co-defendant, Eucario Avalos Ruiz, age 29, also of Madera, but did find him guilty of participation in a criminal street gang.

A trial for the Madera gang members began on January 30, 2012 in the Madera Superior Court, with a separate jury empaneled to determine a verdict for each defendant. Senior Deputy District Attorney Linda Dunn prosecuted the case for the People.

 

A number of witnesses gave testimony during the trial that the murder occurred around midnight of July 29, 2008 in front of a home on Davis Street in Madera. Amezcua and Ruiz were arrested several days later by the Madera Police Department. A previous rival gang shooting was the motivation for the shooting.

After deliberating, the jury handed down a verdict for Amezcua, finding him guilty of second degree murder. In addition to the murder charges, the jury found special allegations including: active participation in a criminal street gang, murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, personal use of a firearm, and street terrorism. Sentencing for Amezcua is scheduled for April 25th, 2012. Amezcua will be eligible for
a sentence of up to 43 years to life in state prison.

A decision to retry Ruiz on the murder charge is pending. He is set for sentencing on April 26th, 2012. He could serve up to 3 years in state prison for his participation in a criminal street gang.

Keitz praised the efforts of the Madera Police Department and Senior Deputy District Attorney Linda Dunn in obtaining the conviction of Amezcua and Ruiz. “Through the focus and dedication of these outstanding law enforcement professionals, a dangerous gang member will be sent away to prison where he will serve many years as a consequence of gang activity and the murder of Victor Raqueno. This conviction carries a stern message for all gang members in Madera: We will not tolerate your criminal activities. If you choose to harm innocent people, we will see to it that you find a new way of life - inside the four walls of a state prison”.